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ACFW Christian Fiction New Releases February 2017

February 2017 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

 

Biblical:


redeeming-graceRedeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith — When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it. (Biblical from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

 

Biblical Romance:


building-benjaminBuilding Benjamin by Barbara M. Britton — Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife. As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her own tribe. (Biblical Romance from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

 

Contemporary Romance:

grace-and-the-rancher

Grace and the Rancher by Mary Alford — Can a runaway singer and a makeshift rancher, thrust together by circumstance and held together by the common thread of loss and a love of music, find hope and a happily-ever-after under the stars of Delaney Mountain? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

 

 

 capturing-beautyCapturing Beauty by Brenda S. Anderson — Photographer Haven Carlysle is a changed man. He returns to Duluth to capture the North Shore’s beauty … and to recapture the love of his son. But that means making amends with his ex-girlfriend too. Enter Callie Beaumont. All her life, Callie has longed to work outdoors soaking up God-breathed beauty, and the opportunity is finally on the horizon. But being the liaison between the handsome photographer and his son has thrown her dreams, and her heart, into chaos. Can Haven capture her heart when she won’t let him capture her image? And will his poor choices cost Callie her dream job and him the love of his son? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

 

the-lawman's -secret-sonThe Lawman’s Secret Son by Lorraine Beatty — Suddenly a Father Police officer Seth Montgomery knows all about order—but his world is thrown into chaos when he learns he has a five-year-old son. With little Jack suddenly in his care, Seth turns to neighbor Carrie Fletcher for help. Given her checkered past, Carrie prefers to keep to herself, but there’s no denying she cares for the boy—and her feelings for charming Seth are rapidly developing, too. When someone from Carrie’s past shows up threatening to jeopardize the life she’s worked so hard to build, Carrie will have to fight for her future with the new family she’s found…or risk losing everything. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

maybe-it's-youMaybe It’s You by Candace Calvert — Micah Prescott’s goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive ER nurse, Sloane Ferrell. Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane’s past. Can hope spring from crisis? (Contemporary Romance from Tyndale House)

 

a-second-chanceA Second Chance by Alexis Goring — Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with her “best friend,” Traci resigned herself to being a bachelorette for life. Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. But his widowed sister Gina Braxton appreciates his compassion and kindness, since she’s raising her two kids alone. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, Traci and Marc find hope for their broken hearts. (Contemporary Romance from Forget Me Not Romances)

 

the-amish-wandererThe Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton — After her daed, the bishop, is admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community, Bethany Weiss is ready to get away from Jamesport, MO—and away from God. Silas Beiler, dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, is hitchhiking toward Pennsylvania in hopes of stability. He sleeps in barns where he can and works for food when possible. When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago, full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Can their old love overcome both this new pain and the hurt and rejection of their past? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

 

avalancheAvalanche by Gayla K. Hiss — Set in the North Cascades National Park of Washington State, Avalanche is the inspirational story of one man set on revenge and the woman who risks everything to help him find the fugitive who killed his partner. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

 

 

the-doctor's-texas-babyThe Doctor’s Texas Baby by Deb Kastner — When Carolina Mason shows up in Haven, Texas, after a three-year absence, no one is more surprised than town veterinarian Wyatt Harrow. Especially when he sees Carolina’s two-year-old son, Matty. Their son. How could she have kept his child a secret? Carolina doesn’t deny the boy is his. She thought she was doing what was best for everyone when she left, but she realizes she was wrong. Though Wyatt is eager to make up for lost time with Matty, Carolina’s not so sure that extends to her. Can these former sweethearts navigate their complicated past to make a family for their son? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

Sspring-rainepring Raine by Delia Latham — A last-minute decision sends a young woman to a seaside community and lodging at Paradise Pines…where life takes a whole new path. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

 

 

 

finding-joyFinding Joy by Melanie D. Snitker — A horrific accident changed everything for Parker Wilson. He returns to his family’s ranch, the scars on his face a daily reminder of all he’s lost, yet his mom still insists he needs to stop hiding and live his life again. The beautiful new employee she hires is the last thing he needs, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make the girl quit and regain the peace and quiet he prefers. Only deep desperation could force Chelsea Blake to work on a cattle ranch. But if she’s going to avoid her parents’ judgment when they arrive in three weeks, she must turn the temporary job into a permanent one. Between dodging mud, feeding longhorn cattle, and dealing with a handsome boss who keeps giving her the cold shoulder, staying gainfully employed is proving to be a challenge. Chelsea may not be cut out for ranch life, but her determination to succeed is stronger than Parker’s efforts at forcing her to leave. Surprisingly alike, will the two set aside their disapproval to find immeasurable joy? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

 

General Fiction:


the-secret-heartThe Secret Heart by Marie Wells Coutu — After a whirlwind romance, beautiful Shawna Moore marries Hunter Wilson, the governor of Tennessee. Now, she wonders if the governor ever loved her or only hoped to avoid a scandal. In this modern re-imagining of the biblical story of Bathsheba and King David, an investigative reporter is asking questions–the wedding took place only six weeks following the death of Shawna’s first husband in Iraq. If he discovers the truth about Shawna’s baby, Hunter’s chances for reelection, as well as Shawna’s reputation, will be ruined. But keeping their secret is destroying their marriage. Will Hunter’s choice mean the end of his political career or his family? (General Fiction from Write Integrity Press)

 

 

home-at-lastHome at Last by Deborah Raney — All her life, Shayla Michaels, owner of the Coffee’s On bakery, has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts? Everything changes one icy morning when Portia runs into the street and Link Whitman nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with Shayla. Can they overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? (General Fiction from Abingdon Press)

 

 

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson , Christian fiction, romantic suspense

Baggage Claim by Cathe Swanson — When Ben Taylor, widower and single dad, gets caught up in a dangerous insurance fraud network, he has to learn to take a stand for right – and make a leap of faith: can he trust his nanny – who isn’t quite what she appears to be – and his newly-discovered biological father to hide and protect his four young children? (General Fiction, Independently Published)

 

 

Historical Romance:


the-matchmaker-brides-collectionThe Matchmaker Brides Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens and Liz Tolsma — Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

 

 

the-reluctant-guardianThe Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson — Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women. She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parents–or wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall. But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriage–alone and after dark–the ensuing gossip may force them together.Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety and he certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon. But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach “accident” was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged. Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political career–and his life. (Historical Romance from Waterfall Press)

 

 

the-reluctant-guardianThe Reluctant Guardian by Susanne Dietze — When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she’s rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her… Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he’d be. (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin]

 

 

shine-like-the-dawnShine like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky — In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. An event which…might not have been an accident. When Nathaniel Harcourt returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor, he also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend. Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook Multnomah)

 

 

the-bounty-hunter's-babyThe Bounty Hunter’s Baby by Erica Vetsch — Bounty hunter Thomas Beaufort has no problem handling outlaws, but when he’s left with a criminal’s baby to care for, he’s in over his head. And the only person he can think of to ask for help is Esther Jensen, the woman whose heart he broke when he left town. But can he convince her to put aside the past until he tracks down the baby’s outlaw father? Esther is ready to run Thomas off her Texas ranch–until she spies the abandoned newborn in his arms. Soon, working together to care for the precious babe stirs old hopes of a family. With trouble heading to their door, they could overcome it together–if she’ll entrust her wary heart to this sweet, second-chance family… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

 

 

Thriller/Suspense:

 


raging-stormRaging Storm by Vannetta Chapman — When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her diabetic teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows Carter can’t survive without insulin–and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it. Shelby’s best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won’t let her make the journey alone. Together, they reach the capital–only to discover that Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy. Now the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive. (Thriller/Suspense from Harvest House Publishers)

 

Speculative:


long-time-goneTime Search by Danele J. Rotharmel — While the TEMCO staff searches for clues to unravel the mystery of his real name, their enemy is lurking in the shadows searching for his targets–it’s anyone’s guess whose search will be completed first! (Speculative/Time Travel Fiction from Prism Book Group)

 

 

Western Romance:


long-time-goneLong Time Gone by Mary Connealy — Rancher Justin Boden is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on. With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine? (Western Romance from Bethany House [Baker])

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ACFW New Christian Fiction December 2016

December 2016 New Christian Fiction Book Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

bella-natale Bella Natale! by Marianne Evans — An aspiring American artist and the widowed, Italian owner of a premier art gallery meet and fall in love in Florence when he champions her work, but there are her American family’s expectations and his five-year-old son to consider. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

with-this-kissWith this Kiss by Marianne Evans — A kiss stolen in a midnight snow. A jealous colleague at Jonathan’s firm is bent on revenge…revenge that puts Isabella’s store into legal peril. Will love be enough to see them through? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

mistletoe-daddyMistletoe Daddy by Deb Kastner — Bubbly Vivian Grainger bids on gruff Nick McKenna at Serendipity Texas’s annual Bachelors and Baskets for one reason–to help her build her hair salon; but once Nick finds out she’s pregnant, he does his best to build a path to Vivian’s heart. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

a-hero-for-heatherA Hero for Heather by Marion Ueckermann — When a “homeless” man she’s been helping rescues social worker Heather Blume from a vicious attack, she’s so grateful she violates one of the most important rules in her profession–she takes him home to tend his wounds. But the mysterious Paxton Rathbone is no homeless man…he’s a gentleman. When feelings grow, and Paxton’s past beckons, both he and Heather discover there’s a fine line between gratitude and love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

a-husband-for-hollyA Husband for Holly by Marion Ueckermann — Holly Blume loves decorating people’s homes, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to play house. Believing a house is not a home without a woman’s touch, Reverend Christopher Stewart is in the market for a wife. What woman would consider him marriage material, though, with an aging widowed father to look after, especially one who suffers from Alzheimer’s? Despite their differences, Holly resolves to finish her job of redesigning the Stewart home, while Christopher determines to re-form Holly’s heart. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

rocky-mountain-cowboyRocky Mountain Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe — Twelve years after she married another man, Rebecca Anshaw Simpson is back at Joe Gallagher’s ranch as his physical therapist. But healing his body is nothing compared to guarding his heart from the woman he never forgot. Becca won’t let regret and a surly rancher get in the way of her job and the chance to start over with her little girl. But Becca never expected she’d fall all over again for her first love. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:

christmas-cookie-mysteryChristmas Cookie Mystery by Naomi Miller — With Christmas right around the corner, Katie Chupp and The Sweet Shop get involved in a mystery when a certain dear family finds an unexpected package at their door. (Cozy Mystery from S&G Publishing)

Historical:

michelMichel: The Fourth Wise Man by Katheryn Maddox Haddad — This descendant of Daniel, also a wise man, sacrifices everything – his wife, his father, his home – to do what he is convinced God needs him to do, then finds out he was wrong (Historical from Northern Lights Publishing House)

five-nights-with-pharaohFive Nights with Pharaoh by Kristen Reed — Shortly after entering Egypt with her husband, Sarai is taken into Pharaoh’s harem as his newest, most favored concubine. The breathtaking, ageless beauty is forced to cling to her faith in God as she prays for the strength to accept her new position and endures a series of mysterious plagues that can only be indicative of a wrathful deity’s divine judgment. Discover a remarkable reimagining of Sarai’s plight in Egypt, where she humbly set aside her own honor to protect the man through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Historical – Independently Published)

Historical Romance:

seven-brides-for-seven-texansSeven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Leslie Seilstad, Erica Vetsch — Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children–until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

a-pony-express-romanceA Pony Express Romance by Misty M. Beller — Pony Express rider Josiah English and the station master’s sister, Mara Reid, fall in love, but when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Military Suspense:

conspiracy-of-silenceConspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig — A former Green Beret is confronted by past mistakes as he and his team battle a centuries-old plague and the terrorists bent on rewriting history. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Romantic Suspense:

hazardous-holidayHazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson — Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment–and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last? (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

christmas-conspiracyChristmas Conspiracy by Susan Sleeman — When Commander Jake Marsh loses control of a hostage situation and Tessa Long is injured, guilt eats at him. He blurs the line between the professional and personal, and visits Tessa at the hospital. But when a man tries to kill her in her hospital room, Jake disregards all of the rules and regulations that have allowed him to control his world and vows to keep her safe no matter what. Trouble is, the situation brings back memories from his childhood of the loss of his entire family, and for the first time in twenty years, he fears he’s no longer in charge of his life, and knows when he’s out of control bad things happen. Very bad things. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Bookmark the Fiction Finder website and check it out regularly for new Christian fiction books!

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American Christian Fiction Writers – November 2016

What’s new in Christian fiction? Check out these new releases from the ACFW and Fiction Finder!

American Christian Fiction Writers November 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Biblical:

Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory — In a deadly race to save her son, a young slave woman dares defy the most powerful man in the world. (Biblical from Barbour Publishing)

Contemporary Romance:

Crazy Woman Christmas by Renee Blare — A quiet cowboy whisks Bianca to his ranch to ride out the Christmas blizzard where she discovers life is cold but also beautiful in the “Cowboy” state. (Contemporary Romance from Inspired [Prism Book Group])

Other Than a Halo by Valerie Comer — Even though she’s a new woman in Christ, single mom Bren Haddock was no angel as a teen. Now managing the Hiller Farm for a CSA, life is good until a friend offers to enter her daughter into the Little Miss Snowflake Pageant. Old insecurities flare when she meets the intriguing head of marketing the pageant. Rob Santoro isn’t so sure about handling the pageant portfolio until he meets Bren. Soon he’s fallen for her and her two kids. When a Thanksgiving adventure goes awry, he’s left wondering how to love a woman who refuses to be loved. What will it take for Bren to retire her tarnished halo and move into the future God has for her? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Know What I Do You Know What I Know? A Christmas novella from Becky Melby - ACFW Christian FictionDo You Know What I Know? by Becky Melby — What if a phone call from the obstetrician’s office went to the wrong person? Elizabeth Schmidt can’t figure out why her husband doesn’t seem excited about the news she’s sure he heard. Is he unhappy? Or is James cheating on her? Pastor Jay Davidson is in shock. Bethany Schmidt, the woman he’s in love with, is pregnant. Should he walk away, or is God asking him to play the part of Joseph in real life and not just in the church Christmas program? Bethany can’t figure out why Jay is acting so weird. Has he figured out one of the two secrets she’s keeping until after Christmas? Can a ponytailed itinerant carpenter with a pet chicken help unravel the confusion? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart by Candice Sue Patterson — Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers to aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing [Pelican])

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay. — After a whirlwind romance and marriage, Emily Price returns home to Italy with her new husband and learns that life at its richest is only found when she accepts its chaotic beauty. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Thomas Nelson and Zondervan])

Contemporary Women’s Fiction:

Forgiveness by Marianne Evans — Country music bad boy, Chase Bradington is on the comeback trail. Fresh from rehab for alcohol addiction and transformed by the power of Christ, Chase is battling to rediscover the music he loves and a career he nearly ruined. Then he meets up-and-comer, Pyper Brock and instantly sparks ignite. Despite her rampant attraction to the handsome and talented icon, Pyper knows of Chase’s reputation and soundly dismisses his romantic overtures. No way will Pyper repeat the mistake of trusting a man whose done battle with the bottle. Can a sin-damaged past be released in favor of forgiveness? (Women’s Fiction from Harbourlight Books [Pelican])

Historical:

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson — As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path. (Historical from Waterfall Press)

Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert — Historically based on the Icelandic Sagas, Forest Child brings the memorable, conflicted persona of Freydis Eiriksdottir to life. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Historical Romance:

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, and Becca Whitham — Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Left at the Altar by Margaret Brownley — In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace until she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiancé. Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart. (Historical Romance from Sourcebooks)

Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson — Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker’s children—only to find the groom-to-be didn’t want a wife. But his adorable children are determined she’ll be their mother by Christmas… His wife’s betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett’s life. Now he can’t even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she’s also his perfect match? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Hope’s Design by Dawn Kinzer — An independent city girl aspiring to be a fashion designer falls for a stubborn artist from the country who wants to keep his talent a secret. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Brides of Wyoming by S. Dionne Moore — Roam the Wyoming range alongside three couples who meet under danger from bands of outlaws. Renee escapes a gang of outlaws and lands in the arms of a sheepherder. Olivia’s sleuthing upturns secrets key to solving the murder of a reluctant rancher’s father. Maira is trying to keep her ranch running alone when a drifting cowboy offers a hand. Can love develop where suspicion and greed roam the range? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Negotiated Marriage by Christina Rich — When the railroad pushes to buy her land, orphaned Cameron Sims will do anything to keep the only home she and her sisters have ever known. Even if she must marry a stranger. Duncan Murray doesn’t want a wife. He wants Sims Creek, a sanctuary that can help him forget a troubled childhood. But his reluctant, and captivating, bride-to-be is key to making his dreams a reality. And despite their business arrangement, Camy and Duncan might be signing on the dotted line for true love… (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe  —  A little girl on a quest for a new mama has the local seamstress in her sights. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:

His Perfect Love by Sharon K. Connell — On the run from a hit man, Patricia Campbell is unaware of the FBI’s search for her to learn what information she might hold, so she continues to hide out. Then she meets a persistent computer technician, a charming philanthropist, and a handsome, wealthy businessman who wants to marry her. But her fears resurface, and she wonders if she can trust any of them. Can she survive long enough to find peace…and perfect love? (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Counter Point by Marji Laine. — Her dad’s gone, her diner’s closing, and her car’s in the lake. Cat McPherson has nothing left to lose … except her life. And a madman, bent on revenge, is determined to take that, as well. Her former boyfriend, Ray Alexander, returns as a hero from his foreign mission, bringing back souvenirs in the form of death-threats. When several attempts are made on Cat’s life, she must find a way to trust Ray, the man who broke her heart. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Speculative:

The Flaming Sword by Heather L.L. FitzGerald — When evil joins forces in the Tethered World, Sadie Larcen must risk all to protect the Flaming Sword and her family…even if it takes her life. (Speculative Young Adult from Mountain Brook Ink)

The ACFW Fiction Finder website is a free, easy-access resource for readers, retailers, libraries, and book clubs.

ACFW – The Voice of Christian Fiction

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Salsa & Speedbumps ~ an Author Interview with Susan Baganz

Susan Baganz

I met Susan Baganz at an American Christian Fiction Writers meeting. It was my first experience with a writing group, and Susan went out of her way to make me feel welcome. She has the best kind of bubbly personality – the kind that hints at a deeper, more thoughtful nature. Her books are the same way. They are delightfully fun to read, but they touch on serious issues with compassion and sensitivity.

Her other books include Pesto & Potholes and a Christmas novella, Fragile Blessings. Her new book, Salsa & Speed Bumps (Prism Book Group), is a contemporary inspirational romance novel being released TODAY, January 22!

 

Salsa and Speed Bumps by Susan BaganzHi Susan! I’m looking forward to your new book! Is Salsa & Speed Bumps part of a series?
Yes! It is the second in my Orchard Hill Romance series. Book 1 is Pesto & Potholes (April 2015). Book 3, Feta & Freeways, is due out later this year and the next three are contracted: Root Beer & Road Blocks, Bratwurst & Bridges and Donuts & Detours. The individual novels stand on their own. You don’t have to read them in order to enjoy them.

What made you decide to set your series in Wisconsin?
The old adage “Write what you know” was kind on my mind. I used to live in the Milwaukee area, north side, Menomonee Falls and Germantown. I also used to work in and around Milwaukee. It seemed a good setting for the adventures I would come up with.

How did you come up with the title?
When I wrote Pesto & Potholes it was just as a fun exercise. I wanted to give a real-life example of the pothole concept that is brought out in the story. I thought it would be fun if my guy was an Italian chef. I love pesto sauce so Pesto & Potholes was born. It was just a fun lark but then a friend on Facebook said that book two should be titled Salsa & Speed Bumps. I hadn’t even considered writing another story at that point. This was just for fun! I loved the concept so when I was ready to write another book—I took the title and ran with it. I decided that my guy, Roberto, would be of Hispanic descent, and there’s a bit of “heat” in there so salsa fits. Stephanie definitely hits a speed bump.

Is there a message in this book that you want your readers to grasp?
The story explores how we, as people of faith, think about our circumstances and view others. I struggle with this myself. Philippians 4:8 is kind of a key challenge: “. . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (NASB) I know that when pain or depression or other challenges knock me off my feet—it is a huge challenge to do what that verse says and my characters wrestle with that. I suspect I’m not alone in that struggle. Otherwise the apostle Paul wouldn’t have addressed it in Scripture.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I’ve had several back injuries over the years and I will struggle with the after-effects for the rest of my life. I think in many ways I related to Roberto’s agony as he struggles. While my pain issues/injuries were not as severe, they have at times been debilitating like he experiences. I relate to the pain and sympathize with his suffering. Writing a person with a chronic health issue while they seem healthy on the outside . . . was a challenge. Chronic pain can be redundant and for outsiders who don’t have that issue it can get tedious and boring to hear about, especially when there’s little they can do to help resolve it. Many times there is no resolution. With Roberto you can get the sense of just how fatiguing and frustrating that ongoing battle can be, even when there might some opportunity for relief.

pesto and potholesTell us about your characters! How many of them appeared in Pesto & Potholes?
Renata was Stephanie’s best friend so she appears in Salsa & Speedbumps along with her husband Tony. It’s fun to see how their story continues and how they’ve grown and are there for Stephanie in her trials.
Stephanie works for De Luca’s Cucina (owned by Tony) as part manager and hostess. (There was a bit of a reorganization of the restaurant in Pesto & Potholes). She’s a live wire. Confident, beautiful. And single. She was there for Renata after her world fell apart and was instrumental in connecting Ren with Tony and encouraging them on their journey to love. Now the table is turned and Renata gets to be the one to help her friend through some painful circumstances.
Roberto in an attorney who has some skeletons rattling his closet which makes him more than willing to accept Stephanie’s (I don’t want to give it all away!). He’s a hunk and there’s definitely an immediate attraction between the two. He’s more button up but gracious and has an integrity that shines through when life throws him curve balls. For all his weaknesses there is much to admire in him.

Are any of the happenings in the book inspired by events in your own life?
As I said, the back pain I can relate to (but I’m allergic to pain medications that contain codeine, real or synthetic). There are others but I don’t want to give away all my secrets!

I’m looking forward to reading it. How about you? What book are you reading now?
Her Deadly Inheritance by Beth Ziarnik. It’s an Inspirational Romantic Suspense. It’s a fabulous debut novel by a talented author.

What is your favorite genre for your personal reading?
Absolute favorite? Inspirational Romantic Comedy – hard to come by which makes it all more wonderful. Janice Thompson is a master of that. Sandi Bricker has also written some quirky characters as well. I read a variety of things though, mostly romance. Contemporary, Romantic suspense, Regencies (harder to come by those in the CBA). Sometimes my editing work takes me out of that box though. There is so much wonderful fiction out there!

How about writing? What is your favorite genre to write?
I love writing the Contemporary Inspirational Romance but I started out writing Regencies. I find it fun to play with the language and rules of that time period. It’s weird to go from writing a story where people might be texting to each other to one where a woman can’t even write a man who is not a family member, unless they are engaged! To go from cars to carriages and ties to cravats. It’s fun but sometimes Regency language seeps into my contemporary writing and it did with Salsa & Speed Bumps. I would challenge readers to spot it. (Hint: It’s a short phrase used three times!)

Do you know the ending of a book when you start writing it?
I only know that it will be a happily-ever-after ending. How they get there and what that will be like? I have no clue until it emerges on the page.

Do you laugh and cry as you write your book? How emotionally attached do you get to your characters? If they were real, would they be your friends?
I don’t usually cry when I write but I might get sad. I have laughed while writing though! There have been times of tears when it’s done and I’ve read it.
I have a friend who is also a writer, who tells me I have an unusual relationship with my characters. If you get me talking, you would think they are real people. I will talk about them like that. Like they are my friends and I’m just taking dictation. So would they be my friends? I would hope so! In my inner world they already are and I love them all.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Fear. I wasn’t nearly aware of how much fear paralyzed me until I started the journey as an editor and author. I suspect it is for many writers. That’s why my word for this year is “Fearless.”

Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you get past it?
I don’t call it writer’s block. With every story I write I hit a wall. I will be filled with self-doubt. The part of the story will seem like it’s boring to me. I’m a panster (write by the seat-of-my-pants) so I never know what’s going to come next. Sometimes I talk to a friend and brainstorm and the story might take a fun turn. Most often though, I just force myself to sit and write through the fear. When I’m done I could never tell you where that spot was. I think ultimately the wall is fear. I fear that what I’m writing is crap. But when I push through that I find my way to the happily-ever-after ending for my characters.

Fragile Blessings by Susan BaganzIt’s always interesting to hear about our favorite authors’ writing process. What does yours look like?
The house we rent has a sunroom and I have my office in there. It’s a large room so two bookshelves make a partial wall for a bit of privacy as my daughter has a computer on the other end of the room! My desk is an antique drop-leaf table that I sanded down and painted white a few years ago. To the left of that is another desk and some box type shelving. To the right against the wall is a long table which right now is a dumping ground but when it’s cleaned up it’s my spot for sewing (which I don’t enjoy but sometimes do because I need to!) and where I can make cards.
My laptop, named Rosie (because she is pink!) is on my desk in front of me and there is a larger monitor connected to it on the left. I have two windows framed in lace, to look out of to our driveway but also to the bird feeders there.
Sometimes I do editing on paper with a pencil and I do that on the loveseat in the living room with my puppy curled up by my side.
I usually write in silence. However, I do have children and computer games can make noise so at times I put on my headphones and listen to Classical music when I write Regencies. The last few contemporary novels I’ve written were to a mix of music by Burlap to Cashmere and Steven Delopoulus (his solo records). Their personal backstory was a spring board for two of my novels (#’s 3 & 4) and I love the harmonies and the amazing guitar playing.
I’m not a coffee drinker and right now am weaning myself off my Wild Cherry Pepsi addiction. I don’t have any “must have” kind of food. There is, however, a stash of chocolate hidden though for whenever I need it. (don’t we all?)

Do you have a job outside of your writing career?
My most important job is Mom. I also volunteer at my church in a “behind-the-scenes” type of role serving the worship teams and sometimes counsel and encourage women one-on-one when the pastors send someone my way.

What do you like to do that is completely unrelated to writing?
Sleep. Although that’s not entirely true because I’m often working through scenes as I fall asleep and wake up. I like to make cards (rubber stamping) but that’s kind of writing related too, because the art of sending a card in the mail is becoming rarer. I love to sing and pretend to play guitar.

What are your current projects?
I’m not writing a new story right now as I have a lot of revisions and editing to do on mine and other projects. I have been praying about my next contemporary novel which I suspect will be written this year when the characters finally decide to settle down and take over my life. I hope it’s not too soon though as I have a lot to do!
The next story (#7) in the Orchard Hill series is tentatively titled Truffles & Traffic since Kristen Hammer at our local chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) has continued to challenge me to write a story with truffles. Hey, I love chocolate so why not? It will feature a romance between a couple, Jo March and Benedict Elliot (a British import) who’ve been divorced, come to faith and after some mishaps (of course) fall in love again. That idea is based on a real life story of a couple I knew in my past. Wonder if Lindt would sponsor or endorse that one?

Where can we find you online?
Blog: www.susanbaganz.com
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz
Twitter: @susanbaganz
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/silygoos

Do you have any other books coming out soon?
Salsa & Speedbumps releases January 22, 2016
The Baron’s Blunder (a novella and a prequel to my Regency romance series), releases August 2016 as part of the “Love is . . .” series of novellas by Prism Book Group.
Feta & Freeways hopefully in September 2016

I’ll be looking forward to those. Thanks for sharing your book and your life with us, Susan. Have a blessed day!

 

Disclosure:   I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

Disclosure:   I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

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ACFW WI SE Meeting!

Last night I attended my very first ACFW meeting! The AFCW WI SE provides meetings and events for SE Wisconsin ACFW members to help their efforts to become published authors and further their writing craft. It was informative and interesting, and I wasn’t too intimidated. (nice alliteration, huh?) I can see how helpful that fellowship and networking is, even to an experienced author, and I know I will learn a great deal from them before I am ready for real publication. I look forward to returning in November!